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Archer's Asylum

I'm a big bloke (7ft tall) and I am forever reading. This will mostly be my thoughts as I am reading and possibly a review or two. You may know me as Archer.


I am basically a lurker. My life revolves around my wife, my cats, Books, and entertainment.


I'm working on building and setting up a forge and I'm generally one of those people who can be found causing or in the middle of mischief somewhere...

Furies Of Calderon: The Codex Alera: Book One: Codex Alera 01

Furies of Calderon (The Codex Alera, #1) - Jim Butcher Hello once again my fellow bookworms.Now let me just get something off of my chest before I get into this. I am a Jim Butcher fan, I am a fantasy fan, and I haven’t read many modern high fantasies, partly because there aren’t many (comparatively speaking) but mostly because they are that dry and suck so many balls before breakfast that it is painful. Yes I read Game of Thrones. No I wasn’t impressed. If you can’t tell a story in instalments under 1000 pages long then you desperately need an editor, and you desperately need to cut the waffle. Having said that, it was with great trepidation that I picked up this tome of 600 pages from an author whose Urban Fantasy writings I read voraciously. I had heard that it was a fantasy from multiple viewpoints, that the society in the book was heavily based upon the Roman Empire. I’d been told by sources, which shall remain nameless from my school/college days (who I have recently found out believe that Flush Flush is good literature and that le Clare plagiaire is a genius author… note to self; kill them later) that this book was garbage and didn’t make any sense, so I put off starting this series. This book is NOT garbage, it DOES make sense, and it is good old-fashioned high fantasy of an ilk that hasn’t been seen since the Waylander Series by Gemmel. This is a book that you have to lose yourself in. You have to realise that this is not your world and that each of the main players, of which there are 4, play a very important role in the tale and that by jumping from one viewpoint to another actually gives you the whole story. A little bit of background info on this world would actually come in handy I think. Welcome to Alera. The Aleran Empire is very much like that of our Roman Empire, except their citizens have one very fundamental difference. They have a relationship with elementals called Furies. There are 6 distinct flavours of Fury: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Metal and Wood. What these furies essentially do is give their human the ability to work with those Elements (these are the Japanese elements). Some people are more gifted than others and have more than one Fury to call upon. The Aleran Nation borders lands inhabited by tribal people known as the Marat. There are four tribes and each tribe is as different from each other as a dog is from a cat. They are very reminiscent of a smoothie made of the Mongol horde, the ancient Goths (no not the weirdoes who seem to have become more and more emo over the years... I miss real Goths, emos aren't cool... I mean the ancient tribe from Europe), and later Vikings… but different. The Alerans and the Marat don’t like each other much and are at a tenuous peace… and that’s pretty much all you need to know before the story starts. I’m not going to talk about each of the POV characters in depth, because that will spoil things and I try to steer clear of that, but their names are Tavi, Amara, Isana and Fidelias. However I will say this, Tavi is the main protagonist. Their views of the tale as it unfolds draws you deeper into this rich world that Butcher has crafted and from the descriptions I could smell the wood smoke and earth of the world in my mind (I have a good imagination, so sue me).HOWEVER, this book is far from perfect, and I would go as far as to say that it is a little less sound than the Dresden Files series that Butcher writes. The pacing at the beginning was a little dodgy and would gain speed just to be slowed to a crawl again. Yes this was a bit annoying and made this book a little bit of work to read but I still enjoyed it immensely. I found myself caring about the characters and their lives. There were a few errors here and there but no one is perfect and it’s far better than most bestsellers I’ve read in recent years (eyes his read books pile and contemplates burning SMeyer on the bonfire in the middle of the local park on the 5th of November), and only one or two spelling fluffs which can easily be forgiven. Basically what I’m trying to say is that if you’ve been looking for a good high fantasy that actually tries to set up it’s own world and doesn’t borrow heavily from other printed works (wanders over and kicks Christopher Paolini in the ribs “I PAID GOOD MONEY ON STAR WARS WITH DRAGONS YOU PRICK!”) then you should definitely, at least, borrow this from your local library, I know it’s not to everyone’s taste but honestly, what is? I honestly, hand on heart; highly recommend this to any fantasy fan. Archer OUT